MAC: Mines and Communities

India Inc lines up for a new slice of Orissa

Published by MAC on 2006-04-10

India Inc lines up for a new slice of Orissa

Economic Times

10th April 2006

MUMBAI: The mineral-rich state of Orissa is looking beyond metals and the mining sector. After attracting over $20bn in investments in the metals and mining sector - a 12m tonne steel plant by Posco, aluminium smelters and alumina refineries by Hindalco and Vedanta - the state has become an investment destination for the cement, chemical and paper industries.

According to a senior official from the Orissa government, the state is also trying to attract investments in the food processing industry and infrastructure. This would include power and ports.

Emami, a front runner in the cosmetics business has finalised plans to set up a 85,000 tonne per annum paper mill in the state. The paper mill will bring in investments of close to Rs 300 crore. Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers is also planning to set up a three lakh tonne per annum ammonium nitrate plant at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore.

Cement industry leaders ACC is planning a 1-2m tonne brownfield expansion in Orissa. While OCL, a cement company promoted by the Dalmia group, has also planned a cement capacity of close to 1m tonne. According to state government officials, the state is also looking at putting its huge reserves of thermal coal to use in the power sector. The officials claimed that that MoU for close to 5000 MW of power projects are close to finalisation.

Companies like Reliance Energy, and CESC are likely to set up power projects in the state.

The Orissa state is soon to tie-up with the Dubai government for investments for infrastructure development. These would include roads and ports.

Further, the state is also planning to develop its coast line. The officials said Orissa is taking a cue from the Gujarat government for development of ports.

The state has over 400 kms of coast line. The government will soon get in to an offensive to attract port companies to set up deep water ports in the state.

The development of ports is essential for the state as many of the industries that are setting up capital-intensive projects will use the production facilities to cater to the export market. An underdeveloped maritime infrastructure may discourage industrial investors, said an official.

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